Flowers depict idea that “we’re one race, the human race”

Amee Kee stands in front of her upbeat carnation arrangement at “Bouquets to Art.” Photo by Woody Weingarten.

Amee Kee stands behind her upbeat arrangement at the de Young Museum’s “Bouquets to Art” and, in a soft voice, explains its significance:

“I chose one flower [the carnation] because we’re one race, the human race; we’re all the same except for our color.”

The San Franciscan’s words impress me.

So does her creation, parallel rows and rows of carnations of diverse colors and a few strands of basketball netting.

She chuckles when I ask rhetorically if the cords came from a Warriors game.

The Amee Kee Floral Design, Inc. piece, which she checks daily so she can replace any bloom that shows signs of wilting, is positioned in front of David Huffman’s 2017 artwork, “Rainbow.”

It becomes my favorite arrangement among the hundred that comprise the six-day exhibit, which this year is different from previous displays in that there seem to be many more geometric designs.

Most of those installations are situated on the first floor; massive bouquets in bowls dot the second.

Once upon a time, the vast majority of the floral constructions simulated the paintings and sculptures they sat near. No longer. In fact, it’s occasionally difficult now — and somewhat disappointing for me — to find any correlation whatsoever.

“Eclipse” hovers over Wilsey Court at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Photo by Woody Weingarten.

But there are the glorious exceptions.

Such as the massive kinetic spherical sculpture “Eclipse,” by a husband-and-wife team, Natasha and Daniel Schultz of Waterlily Pond, that hovers over the crowds in Wilsey Court in front the huge drawings and geometric forms of a wall mural, “Between Sign and Subject” by Matt Mullican.

Constantly rotating, it continually “eclipses” itself via varying “overlapping perspectives of two halves of a whole,” a plaque informs me.

Pooch made of flowers impresses writer at “Bouquets to Art.” Photo by Woody Weingarten.

I’m fascinated that the piece includes 10,000 flowers as well as 500 feet of aluminum, 1,200 feet of colored string and weighs 1,200 pounds.

Also impressive is a construct by another San Franciscan, Kirk Wilder of the Acme

Floral Company, that features a realistic dog made of white blossoms. It’s linked to Nick Cave’s “Untitled (Soundsuit).”

Space and time limitations preclude me from listing a dozen other living artworks that delighted me. Besides, I’ve been raving about “Bouquets to Art” for so many years, I’ve almost run out of things to write.

Except this: Ignore my minor misgivings and go. The exhibit will continue through Sunday.

Contact Woody Weingarten, a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, at

About the Author

Woody WeingartenWoody Weingarten, who can be reached at or, can’t remember when he couldn’t talk — or play with words. His first poem was published in high school but when his hormones announced the arrival of adulthood, he figured he’d rather eat than rhyme. So he switched to journalism. And whadda ya know, the bearded, bespectacled fella has used big, small and hyphenated words professionally since jumpstarting his career in New Yawk City more than 60 years ago. Today the author of the book “Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner’s breast cancer” is also a reviewer-critic, blogger and publisher — despite allegedly being retired. During his better-paid years as a wage slave he was an executive editor and writer for daily and weekly publications in California, Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York. He won writing awards for public service and investigation, features, columns, editorials and news. Woody also has published weekly and monthly newspapers, and written a national column for “Audio” magazine. A graduate of Colgate University, he owned a public relations/ad agency and managed an advertising publication. The father of two and grandfather of three, he and his wife, Nancy Fox, have lived in San Anselmo in Marin County for three decades. He figures they'll stay.View all posts by Woody Weingarten →